Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Bill Toland

Even with his own front-row seat for the negotiations, U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy was surprised by the speed and ease with which a proposed Medicare overhaul navigated his chamber this week.

“A week ago, I’m not sure I would have told you we had the votes for this,” Mr. Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, said of the legislation, which would create a new payment formula for doctors and charge higher premiums to some Medicare beneficiaries.

But by Thursday, those votes materialized — and then some, to the surprise of congressional observers or anyone else who has watched the House and Senate over the last few years. The legislation, approved by an overwhelming House vote of 392-37, now moves to the Senate, which could take it up in April, following a brief recess…

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